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A few thoughts on the Arsenal 3-1 Norwich league match. Part rant.

April 15, 2013

Evening “Mind the gap”

Arsenal grabbed three points and victory over the time wasters, Carrot Crunchers and Delia Smith’s mustard army.

For 80 mins of this match I though I had been transported back to Norwich on 20 October 2012. Back then Norwich had not won a game, Arsenal travelled by plane, I went car and the team could not be asked. Arsenal lost 1-0 to a well-drilled Norwich City team who gave us very little and did a right old job on us.

Norwich formation lined up brick-wall – 0 – 0

Arsenal just could not cause Norwich many problems. A header onto the bar from Giroud was as good as it got. HT came and Norwich had not mustered a solitary shot on goal, but then brick walls don’t, “Eh? Eh? Eh?” “Dey do do dat dough don’t dey dough””Eh? Eh? Eh?”

In the second half Norwich were given a free kick when their player fell over his own feet wearing clown shoes instead of football boots and the referee got suckered. Snotgrass floated it in and Turner gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Time wasting went into over-drive. Bunn was taking his time with every kick, taking the ball to the other side of the area from where the ball went out to take goal kicks. Players were feigning injury; the ref just let them get on with it. 10 mins left and I’ll be honest; no way could I see where two goals were coming from.

Suddenly, the all action Ramsey won Arsenal a corner by blocking the ball going out the ball ended coming off the Norwich player. Arteta’s corner came in and went pin ball around the area then landed near Giroud who was pulled back by Karma.

Giroud shirt pull

The ref was going to let play go on, when the linesman, Gord bless him, waved and put his flag across his chest. The referee noticed, so did the Noooorwich players. Sythes, hoes, pitch forks, bagging hooks and cattle prods were downed as they ran towards the Assistant. Not a happy bunch of bumpkins. “I can’t read, I can’t write, doesn’t really matter, ‘cos I come down from Norwich town and I can ride a tractor.

After a brief chat the referee pointed to the spot. Hot cross Bunn went into one and got booked for his troubles.

BunnShut it you MUG!!

Now as far as I am concerned it was a nailed on penalty, Giroud was pulled back. Houghton seems to think that if the ref cannot see it from ten yards, then how can the assistant see it from forty yards. Well Houghton, tell me how you can see Theo offside from sixty yards? He was but that’s another story.

I always though the Assistant had to see right across the line of the pitch, not only to the edge of the nearest side of the penalty area. Poor loser is Houghton. I can only imagine what the media would be saying if that was Wenger moaning?

Arteta, stepped up. Cool, Calm and dispatched the penalty to Bunn’s left 1-1.

Arteta Penalty

Bunn then started punching the floor like a maniac. Oh how we laughed at him. Three minutes later substitute Alex did a one-two with Podolski, low crossed into the area and there was Giroud to slide the ball, into the net, 2-1 Arsenal and take that you bloody Wurzels.

Giroud goal

I was going slightly potty at this stage screaming MUGS, MUGS, x200 at the swathe of yellow in the away corner of the ground. Having just got finished my 200th MUG, praise the Lord, Podolski only goes and makes it 3-1, what a finish.

Podolski goal

The crowd started making fun of Bunn. “He runs when he wants, he runs when he wants…. ” Suddenly Bunn’s taking goal kicks from the right side, while all around me the crowd are shouting and pointing, No! Over-there…

In the lead up to Podolski’s goal, Theo was offside from Giroud’s header. However, as the scorer says #shithappens and Norwich could go home and wallow in all the country shit they shovel as far as I was concerned.

Maybe, just maybe, Referee Jones, the guy who gave us two penalties against WBA earlier in the season, felt mugged by Cazorla’s dive and was into revenge mode  and hence was not going to give us anything on the day. Just a thought.

Experts/pundits what are they like? Tony Gale, puff of wind more like. The bloke sounded genuinely upset that Arsenal had got back into the game, like he is head of the Norwich supporters club or something. All through the game he was showing some sort of disdain for Arsenal.

Look! I understand if you’re a Norwich fan you might be a little annoyed how you lost the game. However, if Norwich had won I would have been a little annoyed that they won on a dodgy free kick. If you’re like me, you are never happy when our opponents get a free kick around the area. Teams have a habit of scoring against us from these. Yes! Arsenal might have defended it better, but it still wasn’t a free kick. Arsenal might have even played a bit better and made any refereeing decision pointless as they overwhelmed Norwich, but then football does not always work out like that.

So why was Tony puff of wind so outraged about the penalty? Why was Chris “Ladbrokes” Camara on Soccer Sunday also outraged?

Well here’s my version for what it’s worth. A lot of pundits give their opinion over the season, yet they change like the wind, or maybe Gale. For years now many of these pundits, Journo’s and ex-footballers have been writing off Arsenal, saying our days in the top four are numbered. While we’re not winning trophies, we’re still finishing in Champions League positions. The start of every season I hear its Spurs, Liverpool or Newcastle that’s going to take our place.

The facts bear out Arsenal don’t finish outside top four and none of the above replaces us. I reckon this is what pisses these people off. Having their views shoved down their throat and predictions shoved up their arses. One week a player has his shirt pulled; it’s a penalty or should have been a penalty, the next it’s not. Analysis says refs should give them, after all if it’s a foul outside the area, then it should be a foul/penalty inside the area.

The next week their views change. It depends on game, teams playing, importance of the game/result. These people call for refereeing consistency and yet have none themselves. They end up talking so much over season they back themselves into a corner. Look at Houdi Elbow, clairvoyant unparalleled, Stewart Robson, talk about an axe to grind in slaughtering the club and Arsene Wenger. Ok! He had some views that were not far off the mark, but many of them were just bile. Where is he all of a sudden? We can see you sneaking out… I’m not hearing from him and his views right now with Arsenal gaining 25 points out of 30 recently.

Why did MOTD have David Moyes on the show when his team are also on and playing Arsenal this coming Tuesday? Why did we need the views of a current manager, thus giving him a chance to say it was never a penalty on Giroud. Maybe hoping it influences Tuesday’s ref. Never heard him say anything when his player had his shirt tugged?

I watched Camara on Sunday Soccer do all he could to make excuses as to why the Giroud penalty should not have been given. Liverpool manager Rogers silence said more than anything and looked embarrassed to be there. Camara voice was getting higher and higher and he seemed so put out that the Linesman gave the decision and not the ref. It made no difference if it was the right decision in the end. As far as Cammy was concerned the assistant had no right to make the decision. Why? He is part of a team.

Why do I have to listen to Steve McLaren tell me what is wrong or right with football. What tactics teams should employ? What the hell has he ever done? League Cup with Boro, and don’t say Dutch League, please!!!. Like a lot of ex-managers who have won sod all, we’re treated to their on how Ferguson and Wenger are going wrong at times. Give me a break, that’s like asking a milkman how to do brain surgery.

I’m seriously fed up with football experts, commentators, co-commentators and front men who only remit is to court controversy. Right now only Gary Neville is saving the day. I sometimes have to listen with the sound down, save I end up taking the piss.

Rant over

Did I mention “Mind the Gap?”


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